- "Hold his hand. Let his power to heal flow through you."
- —Phoebe instructing Paige.[src]
Channeling, in its broadest sense, is the ability to channel the powers of others to the point where users can take control of activated powers and use them for themselves.
Some users of Empathy and Telepathy can develop the ability to channel as an extension of their power. However, empathic and telepathic users may not be able to channel the same type of powers. Empathic beings, for example, can channel powers that are linked to emotions, such as active powers, while telepathic beings were only ever shown channeling powers linked to thoughts, such as spells. Now, while the end result is the same, as they are two separate abilities, both sets of users use different methods to achieve it.
Compared to other methods, using empathy to channel a being's power is by far the simplest and probably the easiest method to use. Since powers are attached to emotions, by channeling one, the user channels the other. From there, the user will be able to counteract the power of the being they are channeling. It's a defensive aspect of Empathy, which only highly skilled users can use. Users of this power can channel it through both the eyes and the hands.
Furthermore, the user will have considerable resistance to the power they are channeling, which makes the power, when used against them, ineffective. Though never shown, it may also be possible to channel spells while they are being casted, as it's a basic magical power, and reap the benefits of the magic.
Phoebe Halliwell is the only known user capable of using her power in this manner. She found it to be an extremely helpful power in close-quarters combat; for example, deviating fireballs and energy balls back at demons instead of evading them and creating her own. Phoebe as shown that she can channel her power through both her eyes and her hands.
Phoebe can channel up to six different individuals at a time, she first revealed this during a battle with a group of Swarm Demons. She channeled their emotions and used her hands to stop their fire balls in mid-air, before redirecting their powers back upon them, vanquishing two Swarm Demons at once.
This method is a little more intricate and a bit mysterious, as it relies on thoughts instead of emotions. For example, users can channel other people's spells while they are being casted and reap the benefits of the magic by reading their thoughts. One should note that when telepathy is used in this manner, channeling thoughts and reading thoughts are one and the same.
The only known telepath to have ever done this was Christy Jenkins In 2006, when The Charmed Ones used a spell to take them to Pator, Christy used her potion to take her and Billie there as well. As shown by Christy - during her quest to find Pator it takes longer and a lot of concentration to channel spells. This is because the channeler can not reap the benefit of a spell unless it has been completed.
It is left unconfirmed whether or not a telepath can channel and control another person active powers, since Christy, the only known user, was only ever seen channeling a spell. However, they can replicate powers.
Through gypsy magic
Phoebe originally went to Teresa to figure out what was wrong with her powers, when somehow Teresa intercepted her premonition during her reading. She foresaw that a Gypsy Hunter was coming for her. Teresa had no idea how she got Phoebe's vision, but Paige reasoned that since she was a gypsy she must have channeled it.
When healing an injury, Whitelighters can channel each other's power. Paige Matthews channeled Leo Wyatt on two separate occasions. She once added her power to his to heal Cole Turner's demonic half. Another time, she channeled Leo's power to heal his injuries after he was poisoned by a Darklighter arrow.
List of beings who use(d) Power Channeling
- Original power
- Through spell, potion, power, stealing, etc.
- Mitzy Stillman (From Phoebe, but never used)
- Prue Halliwell (After obtaining her sisters' powers in the magical switch, but never used)
- Paige Matthews (When healing through Leo's power)
Notes and Trivia
- Pilar, Phoenix and Patra used a form of power channeling to channel the Charmed Ones' Power of Three in the episode "Repo Manor". However, when they reverted to using their demonic powers the sisters were able to regain control over to the Power of Three.
- When asked if channeling would be used in season 10, writer Pat Shand said that it would not, and that although the ability could be used to make a plot more convenient, it was not dramatically interesting, and that "unless something comes up that makes channeling enhance a scene, I'm probably not going to get into that part of the powers."